Africa-America Institute Set To Honor African & African-Descendant Voices During 36th Annual Awards Gala

The Africa-America Institute is set to honour African & African-Descendant Voices during 36th Africa-America Institute Annual Awards Gala, which is the institute’s most important fundraiser.

The gala allows the institute to continue its vital mission of promoting enlightened engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue.


As a result of what is going on in the world, and the effects of the pandemic, AAI has decided to have their annual awards gala digital, hence streaming the event worldwide to a global audience, to showcase the many successes of Africa, Africans and Afro-descendants across the world.


The Africa-America Institute was founded in 1953, and have since then remained committed to promoting enlightened engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue.

Presently, the institute boasts of over 23,000 alumni leaders in public and non-governmental sectors throughout Africa and the African diaspora.

Kofi Appenteng is the President of the Africa-America Institute (AAI) Appenteng has 30 years of domestic and international experience as a corporate lawyer, investment banker and board director. He serves as Chair for Africa at Delphos International and is a senior advisor to The Rock Creek Group.
Throughout his career, Appenteng has been active with numerous civil society organizations. He is currently a member of the board at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and previously served as board chair of the Ford Foundation. Additionally, Appenteng serves on the board of the International Center for Transitional Justice and on the International Advisory Board of IE University. In recognition of his work in business and philanthropy, he was named a “Great American Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation in 2013.

The other trustees are; Steven B. Pfeiffer, Joseph Moodhe, Dr. Ousseina Alidou, Nik Amarteifo, Mamadou Beye, Rebecca Lowell Edwards, Michelle Gavin, Bob McCarthy, Peter McKillop, Khumo Shongwe, Christal Jackson, Humble Lukanga

This year, AAI is proud to recognize the following leaders and creators, each of whom exemplifies the Institute’s vision

2020 Awardees


The National Achievement Award: The People of the Republic of Senegal, to be accepted by H.E. President Macky Sall

In 1999, the AAI National Achievement Award was established to recognize the citizens of an African nation for their achievements and demonstrated commitment to representative, effective and just governance; investing in the well being of people through education health, peace-building and environmental conservation; and promoting sustainable economic freedom through policies that foster enterprise and entrepreneurship.


The Presidential Leadership Award: AAI Alumnus, H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger
This award aims at recognizing African Heads of State for their achievements in demonstrating exemplary leadership in their commitment to Africa’s democratization and political and socio-economic development.

International Institution of Excellence Award: The African Export – Import Bank (Afreximbank), to be accepted by Dr. Benedict Oramah

The Distinguished Alumna Award: Ms. Claude Borna, Managing Director and Chief Innovation Officer, Sèmè City Development Agency.

AAI presents Distinguished Alumni Awards to an alumna and/or alumnus of one of AAI’s education and training programs, who has made a significant contribution to their country or field of work.

The AAI African Diaspora Justice & Equity Award: Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

The Africa Illuminated Arts & Culture Award: Issa Rae, Emmy Nominated Actress, Writer and Producer

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